Although love represents an ideal that many of us strive for in our personal, romantic and ongoing relationships, it manifests in many forms. Between various cultures, art forms and perceptions, the ways we express love are nearly infinite. But what do we make of the love we feel but do not express? This week, we welcome Sam Whipple to discuss the phenomenon of unexpressed love. How might expressions of platonic love alter our presumptions of romantic love? What might we miss in our relationships when we do not receive expressions of love from those around us?
Many of us interact with employees on a consistent, often daily basis. We may not think much of these moments, or the people with whom we're speaking, but customer service as an intersection between consumers and sellers serves to reveal some of our societal attitudes. This week, we welcome Nick Suyematsu to discuss the philosophy behind customer service. How do employees wield the ability to influence the emotions of customers? What do our expectations of thee interactions say about our attitudes when spending money? What can customer service teach us about general human interaction?
Looking at a culture where news, opinions and often daily conversations can tend towards negativity, a positive outlook can seem miraculous. When looking at performing environments, however, performers are encouraged to embrace new challenges, ideas and forms of expression. This week, Mark Ashin joins us to discuss an improv exercise casually known as The "Yes" Game. In the exercise, pairs of participants stand across from one another. One begins speaking about a source of joy or excitement and their partner simply affirms by repeatedly saying "Yes". What can we learn from the principles behind this game? Why might some of us find it difficult or uncomfortable to embrace? How can the philosophy involved help us be more enthusiastic and encouraging towards one another?
With the proliferation of cameras in modern smartphones, tablets, laptops and more, digital photography has entered the cultural mainstream. Many of us reflexively take selfies during travel and pose for memorable moments with loved ones. In 2016, Om Malik of The New Yorker wrote an article entitled "In the Future, We Will Photograph Everything and Look At Nothing," examining at our photographic tendencies and how the abundance of imagery has altered our relationship to it and to our memories. How do photographs become placeholders for memory? Why do we rely so heavily on imagery to capture and enrich narrative? How might we be missing out on lived experiences because of the cultural capital placed upon pictures?
As one of the most pivotal moments in history, the construction and deployment of the atomic bomb is worthy of many discussions. The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese (primarily civilians) and changing the face of modern warfare and international politics forever. This week we welcome Richard Pera to explore the moment in history, what choices and factors preceded it and what we can take away from the decision in the context of the 21st century. How might this devastating power be connected to later peace? What are the ethical entanglements surrounding the issue? How does the use of nuclear weaponry reflect deeper elements of human nature?